Monday, May 9, 2011

Sparkling Wine with Lemon Thyme Sorbet

I know what you're thinking.  

Mother's Day was yesterday... Easter is long gone... and sadly, the weekend is why in the world am I sharing this elegant fizzy beverage on a plebeian Monday?  

The truth is, I couldn't resist.  

I made this lovely drink over the weekend to share with friends and to honor my wonderful mother (whom I missed dearly on Mother's Day - too bad we can't share a hug over Skype!).  I figured if it turned out well, I would just keep it as an ace in my pocket to share with you for the next holiday or celebration.  But then I started making the Lemon Thyme Sorbet...and it was fresh and sweet and tart all at the same time.  Once the first frozen spoonful hit my tongue, the corners of my mouth turned up in a smile - the flavor was just somehow happy.

Then I got a little inspired and decided to put some sorbet in lemon 'cups,' and well, it was all downhill from there.  I was completely smitten by the taste, but the overall cuteness factor was just too much for me - and I hadn't even gotten to the wine yet.   

Lemon Thyme Sorbet, in lemon cups. 

Garnished with a little thyme, this would be the perfect special-occasion dessert.

Speaking of wine, I don't mean to brag, but I made an excellent choice - La Marca Prosecco. (Shh... I was actually helped by the recommendation of an awesome saleslady, but we'll just say I have good good taste.)  La Marca Prosecco got a rating of 90 points by Wine Spectator, and they describe it as such: 

"This sparkling wine is a pale, golden straw in color.  Bubbles are full textured and persistent.  On the nose, the wine brings fresh citrus with hints of honey and white flowers.  The flavor is fresh and clean, with ripe citrus, lemon, green apple, and touches of grapefruit, minerality, and some toast.  The finish is light, refreshing, and crisp."

I loved everything about it, and their description was right on.  However, they forgot to mention just how beautiful the bottle is.  The Tiffany blue label whispers spring (you know I love that color), and paired with the silver foil, it is really elegant.  But the real beauty is hidden to the eye until you remove the foil - only then can you see the lovely and colorful castle that serves as a covering for the cork cage.     

Beautiful La Marca Prosecco.

Colorful cork cage made me think of princesses and knights in shining armor.  
(This was a keeper.)

Prosecco just after pouring, and flowers from a friend's garden.

So I have told you that I adored the Lemon Thyme Sorbet, I swooned over La Marca Prosecco, but the real magic happened when I combined them together.  Adding a few small scoops of the sorbet makes the Prosecco fizz and bubble all over again, and the chilled beverage means the sorbet doesn't start to melt immediately - it is more of a slow-dissolving effect that permeates your drink with the perfect touch of sweetness and a tart finish.  

Lots of fizz and bubbles after adding the sorbet! 

The sorbet will melt slowly, and you can add as much or as little as you like.

On a sunny late afternoon, this was the perfect refreshing drink. 

So I know.  I am really teasing you with this at the beginning of your work week, but like I said, I couldn't hold out on you.  The La Marca Prosecco was exceptional, the Lemon Thyme Sorbet is refreshing, and combined they were magical... so why wait for a special occasion?  This drink is elegant and sophisticated, but so easy that you could decide to make any day special.  Sometimes simplest things are the best. 

In fact, party on a Tuesday.  Make this for your next girls night while you watch Grey's Anatomy in your PJs.  Treat yourself to a glass after a long, hard week at work.  And you certainly don't need to wait until next year to honor mom again - raise a glass to her any day, because she deserves to be celebrated everyday.      


Sparkling Wine with Lemon Thyme Sorbet
I made this with Prosecco, but you could really use any good quality Brut sparkling wine.  I also made my own Lemon Thyme Sorbet, but if you don't want to make your own or are in a pinch, you can just substitute any real-fruit sorbet of your choice.  And lastly, I served this in champagne flutes, but I can imagine making it a little more whimsical buy serving it almost like a root beer float - in a regular glass with a spoon and a fun straw.  

1 bottle of Prosecco (I can recommend La Marca), or other Italian, French or Spanish brut sparkling wine
Lemon Thyme Sorbet (recipe below) or purchased Lemon Sorbet

Pour Prosecco into a glass of your choice until it is about 2/3 full.  Add 2-3 small scoops of lemon thyme sorbet into each glass (be careful so it doesn't bubble over the top!), and serve immediately.

Lemon Thyme Sorbet

2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
3/4 cups of sugar
1 large bunch of fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
2-3 tablespoons limoncello (optional*)

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and about 1 cup of the lemon juice; stir over medium heat, just until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat, add the bunch of thyme to the liquid, submerging completely.  Cover the saucepan, and let stand at room temperature for at least two hours or refrigerated overnight.  Once the mixture is cooled, squeeze the bunch of thyme to extract as much flavor as possible, and then discard it.  Add the remaining 1 cup lemon juice and limoncello, stirring to mix.  Freeze the sorbet in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions, or freeze in your freezer.  If you freeze in an ice cream maker, transfer to a container and freeze in the freezer until it firms up (at least 2 hours or overnight). 

*Adding limoncello is optional, and you can completely leave it out for a non-alcoholic version.  However, adding a little alcohol does improve the texture of homemade sorbet by making it a little smoother and less 'icy.'


  1. Mother's Day, Easter and the weekend is gone but they will come back:) Great way to start the week with wine and sorbet, thanks for the inspiration!

  2. A fabulous combination! A great way of celebrating this day.



  3. wow..the sorbet, the proseco, the delicate-ness of it all..beautiful!

  4. How elegant and lovely the sorbet look! Love the dreamy and beautiful. Thyme with lemon must be a great combo to try.

  5. beautiful! I love the sorbet!

  6. mmm Prosecco! I could use a bellini right now. Lovely photos and the sorbet looks fabulous. Happy Monday!

  7. I've been wanting to try a lemon-thyme dessert for a while now. This one looks perfect! I'm a bubbles girl for sure :)

  8. How refreshing! And completely perfect for spring, holiday or not :)

  9. Looks delicious.. not to mention beautiful!

  10. This is a fantastic post! Gorgeous photos, lovely sentiment and tempting recipes (really, who wouldn't love lemon, thyme & Prosecco). My mum is coming to visit this week and I can't wait to make both the cocktail and sorbet for her.

  11. This looks like the perfect thing to do with all my lemons! Beautiful photos, too!

  12. very elegant ! you have a great styling sense :D

  13. I just had a bottle of La Marca last night! Great wine, especially at that price!
    I can imagine how good it would be with a scoop of this lemon thyme sorbet. Sounds so refreshing and summery. Love it! And gorgeous photos, as always!

  14. I love Prosecco and anything lemon - win/win dessert for me. :)
    Looks amazing! I can almost feel the bubbles from here. :D

  15. Yep. This was as delicious as it looked. The sorbet was also delightful with ginger ale. Mmmmm!

  16. Gorgeous, I will need to try this!

  17. Wow! Love the recipe and the presentation!

  18. So glad you decided not to keep this 'ace' in your pocket!

  19. As I sit in my drab little cubicle at work, far from any natural light source, a mile-wide smile broke out on my face. Thank you for the gorgeous pictures that brightened my day as well as the luscious sounding recipe that I will surely be creating this weekend...or sooner!

  20. Ah, lemon thyme, delicious. I found some in my garden the other day and decided to bake a cake with it. Yumm.

    Your sorbets look so pretty and tasty. Perfect for coming weekend, it's going to be hot here. Nice! I already look forward to it :))

  21. ummm. YUM!!! Looks so light and refreshing!!! :)

  22. This sounds fabulous and refreshing!!

  23. Oh, Amanda, does this look good! I love prosecco (made some fast friends at Camp Blogaway opening it on Sunday morning:), lemon, and thyme, and I can only imagine how wonderfully refreshing it would taste.
    Cheers to mothers far away, but so close to our hearts, and ALWAYS in our thoughts!

  24. What a beautiful sorbet. Your photos really do it justice! Too bad you couldn't be with your mother....I am sure this post will make her smile!

  25. Oh wow! That looks/sounds amazing...I can only imagine the taste!

  26. Absolutely beautiful and such thoughful descriptions. Love it! I've tried blood orange sorbet in prosecco but homemade lemon thyme sorbet sounds divine!

  27. I'm so glad you couldn't wait with this one- I've got a catering job coming up soon and this could be a really sweet treat for it. Great! Thank you! cheers, Angela

  28. your photographs are immensely gorgeous! a lot to learn from you.

  29. I love how you put the sorbet in lemon cups! Beautiful! I missed my mom on mother's day too, but I'm sure she was honoured you made this sparkling wine float for her. So creative!

  30. i love anything in a citrus cup! beautiful presentation, as always. ...and I just bought thyme yesterday! perfect

  31. That looks like a good time with wine!

  32. This looks amazing -- I love the way you served it! And I love prosecco. Sounds like you found a great bottle. I really enjoyed being your bunk mate at Camp Blogaway. Hope we can stay in touch.


    Domestic Divas

    P.S. I'm adding you to my blog roll.

  33. I bought a bottle of La Marca simply because of the label. Just pretty. But, it's good - and I've bought it a few times since. Can't wait to try out the dessert treat here. Merci

  34. You had me at the gorgeous sorbet in lemon cups ... and then you added Prosecco?! Be still my heart. :)

  35. The sorbet sounds amazing! Thank you for prosecco recommendation - this is a new one I have never heard of. Have a great week!

  36. It's 1pm on Wednesday, and I am completely craving this prosecco with sorbet. Must...wait...

  37. These are exactly the types of recipes we need on a Monday. They're uplifting and bubbly!

  38. Hi There, The lemon thyme sorbet is looking GORGEOUS. Loved the new combo of ingredients and the recipe is so nicely made and presented. Loved ur excellent pictures and writeup. I always bookmark ur recipe and give it a shot sooner or later but MUST TRY IT. So wud love to give this version of urs a try on the coming weekend. Have a great day….Sonia !!!

  39. These look impossible to resist! Cute and refreshment factor are both a 10 :)

  40. This sounds like the perfect refreshment for any day of the week! Definitely will be on the lookout for that sorbet!

  41. This is exquisite. I love the photos and the sorbet!

  42. Are you sure that this is the right amount of sugar? It turned out extremely sour.

  43. Anonymous: Yep! I am sure that is the amount of sugar I used, lemons are usually pretty tart (I assume that is what you mean by 'sour') so if you want it more sweet you would have to add substantially more sugar. Did you add the limoncello? This also a source of sugar for the sorbet.

    Jennifer: Thanks for adding me to your blog roll! :)

  44. You're pictures are beautiful! This recipe looks/sounds amazing!

  45. What a lovely way to honor your mother! I'm a sucker for a beautiful bottle, too...and that cork is gorgeous!!!

  46. Oh honey, this looks amazing. I love the idea of serving the sorbet on the little lemon cups and the wine cocktail is right up my alley!

  47. This is one of the most loveliest posts ever. I love your recipe, your images and your thoughts... how beautiful. My daughter leaves for Dublin next week and I am going to make this to toast her trip. She's going to love it as well. Thanks for sharing!

  48. The sorbet is adorable in the lemon cups! I get excited everytime I see that. LOL The proseco looks yummy too!

  49. Delightfully refreshing and a beautiful presentation. Love the photos, too!

  50. This sorbet does look happy! And I can just imagine how perfect the combination with the wine was. Thanks for sharing it with us. I am looking forward to make it on the next special occasion

  51. What a perfect palette cleanser!

  52. Oooh, lovely, thank you! I have lemon thyme in my garden.

    : )

    Julie M.

  53. I've been really into lemon and herbs lately (just made some wonderful lemon-lavender cookies) and this looks heavenly. Definetely the next thing for me to try. :) Thank you for sharing.

  54. The texture of the sorbet is gorgeous and this was easy to make in my ice cream machine. Mine is very tart & sweet. I did not have limoncello but I did add about 2T of vodka to the mix. Other recipes use a water-based simple syrup which might have lowered the intensity of the flavors, but I wonder if that would compromise the nice texture.

    I like the idea of serving it with gingerale. Or maybe with limoncello once mine is ready!

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